First off, I would like to tip my hat to Brian Galliford for his fine writing.
Several years ago, I started following the analysis of Jason Pieri (the artist formerly known as Der Yeager), and with that, became an regular reader of Buffalo Rumblings even though I am not a Bills fan.
I especially enjoyed the pre-draft coverage they provided leading up to the 2011 draft, showing how each prospect would "fit" into their current defense.
The Bills defense has changed a lot since then, and it looks like another big change will occur this off season with the loss of Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine and the hiring of Jim Schwartz.
Behind Pettine's blitzing schemes, the Bills created the 2nd most sacks in the NFL with 57, while also ranking second in interceptions with 23.
But a 28th ranked run defense was a factor in the Bills' 20th ranked scoring defense - 24.3 ppg.
As bad as the Bills' run D was, it was not as bad as their opponents, as Buffalo's offense had the second best running game (at least in terms of yards per game).
But, here again, the NFL's 28th ranked passing offense lead to a 22nd ranked scoring offense - scoring 21.2 ppg.
On average, Buffalo was outscored by 3 points per game, and finished 6-10, but considering the revolving door at QB, I see reason for optimism.... Simply improve the passing game, and stop the run better.
If only it were that simple.
Under Pettine, the Bills' may have salvaged the careers of two draft busts, undersized edge rusher Jerry Hughes (6'2/254) and oversized Allen Branch (6'6/325) who found a home at DE.
Will either enjoy the same success under Schwartz?
An offensive line that helped out the NFL's second best running attack, is still lacking in talent, particularly at LG and RT.
Additionally, the Bills have two key free agents, in starting TE Scott Chandler, and FS Jairus Byrd.
How Durst would "fix" the Buffalo Bills:
With the first pick, I considered the possibilities Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans would bring the last year's 28th ranked passing offense, but after adding two WRs in last year's draft, and knowing this year is very deep at the position, I decided to pass.
The ninth pick seemed a little rich for TE Eric Ebron or Jace Amaro, but OT Cyrus Kouandjio would be a nice bookend to Cordy Glenn.
ROUND 1: Kony Ealy DE Missouri: Yes, I remember the Bills were second in the NFL in sacks, but at 6'5/275 Ealy is similar to Detroit's Ziggy Ansah and completes what should be a dominant 4-3 Dline.
ROUND 2: Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE, Washington: ASJ improved his blocking this past season, and played basketball earlier in his career at UW, but his game is closer to Gronk than Jimmy Graham. Although very athletic, his lack of speed could make him available at this juncture.
ROUND 3: Morgan Moses (Virginia): UVa's starting LT as a Senior, was a two year starter on RT as a Sophomore and Junior, and brings enough that some (Todd McShay) have ranked as a first rounder.
I am not as high on him, but if he were not available, perhaps one of these will be: James Hurst (UNC), Jack Mewhort (Ohio State), Jawuan James (Tennessee)
ROUND 4: Josh Huff WR Oregon: At 5'11/205, Huff displayed his underrated athleticism at the Senior Bowl. Underutilized in Oregon's run-run-run offense, Duck fans will tell you Huff is also an outstanding blocker and special teams player. Look for his stock to rise more after the NFL combine.
Other possibilities include WRs : Cody Hoffman (BYU), L’Damian Washington (Missouri), Devin Street (Pittsburgh), and Shaq Evans (UCLA)
ROUND 5: Jordan Zumwalt LB UCLA: Listed as high at 3rd round by some in the media after an impressive week during the Senior Bowl, his stock may go back down a bit after what is expected to be a average combine performance.
If Zumwalt is able to handle the MLB position, that could allow Kiko Alonso to be moved to WLB, a position some believe is a more natural fit.
ROUND 6: Ryan Groy Guard Wisconsin: Listed as a 6-7th round prospect by both (Tony Pauline) Draftinsider.net and Rob Rang (CBSsports.com) Groy caught my eye last year when he did a great job against Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins.
ROUND 7: Rajion Neal RB, Tennessee. At 5'11/212, Neal came alive as a Senior, rushing for 1124 yards and 12 TDs.
Additionally, Storm Johnson (Central Florida), and Tyler Gaffney (Stanford) LaDarius Perkins (Mississippi State), or Alfred Blue (LSU) might still be available
Fred Jackson is getting older, and Spiller is getting closer to free agency. Now, would be a good time to take a flier on a RB.